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Toonarmy's Primal Conversion

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  • Toonarmy's Primal Conversion

    Hi everyone,

    I have been lurking on here for a good month or 2 now after finding 'The Primal Blueprint' so thought it best to join up and start a journal of my own. So perhaps a bit of background on me is a good place to start.

    I am 28 years old, 6ft and live in the UK. I have never been a skinny guy and when in my teens and early 20's would have been regarded as quite muscular. I also lead a fairly active lifestyle but my weight over the years has flipped around and in more recent years has stayed around the 104kg mark (230lb) and i must be carrying at least 25% body fat now. 100% the cause of this is a decrease of my time in the gym, specifically lifting weights, as well as my poor discipline when it comes to sweet things. It's actually quite funny, many of my mates say I have a pretty healthy diet apart from my love of sugary things but obviously they are viewing and and all carbs as "good"!

    From a health perspective I do have a couple of ailments that I think may be a direct result of a carb heavy diet. they are as follows:
    • IBS - I know Mark suffered with this and it all dissapeared when primal
    • Acid Reflux - Mark has spoken about having this also
    • Suspected Leaky Gut - I am unsure if this is just my IBS but there are days when i'm sure its IBS but almost everyday I wake up with excessive gas, bloating and feeling very full which to my knowledge are all symptoms of leaky gut. Can anyone confirm this?

    So how did I find the Primal Blueprint? I have actually been interested in nutrition for a number of years and have had success in the past performing intermittent fasting on low carb diets. The key word being 'diet' because as we have all heard time and time again, as soon as I came off the diet the weight came back. It was actually a friend of mine that prompted my latest research into all things diet related. Just after Christmas she and I were discussing a book she had read called grain brain. This really got me interested in diets that avoid grains as a possible cure to some of my ailments and excess weight. I was already aware of paleo but had dismissed it previously due to the lack of any dairy. However I stumbled upon Primal and what I particularly liked is the fact that it is not just a diet its a lifestyle choice. And most importantly makes absolute sense and is something I could see myself following in the long term.

    My Goals
    Obviously it is to be healthier but as a priority it is to drop some weight, or maybe more accurately fat. As I intend to grow some muscle it may slow my weight loss as registered on the scales. At first I will record weight loss but I will at some point switch to measuring by the mirror and the tape measure for results in this area.

    The second goal is to eliminate my medical issues as previously mentioned. At the moment I manage with them but if they were no longer issues I would feel better, I would enjoy life a bit more and also I would be better off financially owing to the fact that I would no longer need to buy medication.

    My Plan
    So I am fortunate that I do all the cooking in the house so I can control what my wife and I eat . With that in mind I am going full primal and she has no choice but to follow along and therefore reap the rewards without any effort! I will be attempting to stay under 50g of carbs per day until a reach a point where I feel I have lost sufficient fat. We have just moved house to a bigger home to start a family which means I can now set up a gym in my garage which means I will have no excuse for not getting the exercise component in every week.

    On the subject of exercise I am a keen golfer who plays at least once a week but often twice so this equates to between 5 and 10 hours of steady exercise a week. Its not chronic cardio as it is all at working pace but definitely covers the move about a lot rule. I will also be lifting often and would actually like to increase my lean muscle mass a fair bit. Finally, I am viewing this as an opportunity to get back into my cycling. I have a turbo trainer so sprints on my bike will be dead easy to complete with longer rides possible if weather permits.

    I will post up some pictures later to show what I am like now along with some other measurements that may be relevant as I start on my journey.

    So wish me luck and if you have any questions then ask away!

  • #2
    Luck happens when hard work and preparation meets opportunity. Sounds like you are in the right place/time, so go get 'em!
    Two observations/suggestions:
    1. Hopefully you have recruited your wife and she is positive. It will make your life ever so much easier if she is a willing participant, vs. being "forced" into the program.
    2. I would encourage you not to go the below 50 carb route. I think you will see very positive results if you keep it less than 100, and should make your transition much easier. I fully understand the desire to see quick results, but you should lose at a decent, sustainable rate if you maintain your exercise and go the 100 route. My N=1 over many years of losing (and regaining) excess poundage is that if you lose it too fast, it will have a tendency to come back. Below 50 will probably put you in Keto, and I don't think you should strive for that up front.
    The Buck stops here. I am responsible for my past and my future. So for today: I choose to be happy. I will seek wisdom. I will be a servant to others. I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit.


    • #3
      Thanks for the advice Rig D. My wife is on board to be fair to her. It's just she will be relying on all the guidance.

      With regards to the carbs. I will follow your guidance. I have done low carb cycles before when intermittent fasting and found it fine but I am on here for advice so I would be silly not to listen to it!

      Sent from my iPhone using Marks Daily Apple Forum


      • #4
        Welcome! I hope spring is arriving in the UK? I hail from sunny Arizona USA, so we are well on our way to HOT here. I lived in York England for 3 months, and did a semester of college at Rippon and York St John's College. Are you anywhere near there? I sure wish I had transitioned to this way of life at your age! I started this about 2 1/2 years ago now at the age of 45 or so. I am very glad I did. Though I am still working on shedding some fat (pre menopausal/menopausal women seem to have more challenges with that than men), but I got rid of most of my medical issues. You can read about that in my journal if you want. I just wanted to say welcome, and good luck!
        This is my journal page!

        My life's work:

        "Sometimes you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right!" The Grateful Dead


        • #5
          Good work Toonarmy!
          I frequently provide this link to my "newbie" advice, so if you are willing to take a look, here 'tis:
          One thing I don't have in there that many others advocate for benchmarking your progress is to take photos of yourself at start and periodically as you go. In hindsight, I wish I'd done that. I only have a couple of good "before" photos, none of them are in shorts/no shirt so I can see how really bad off I was.
          The Buck stops here. I am responsible for my past and my future. So for today: I choose to be happy. I will seek wisdom. I will be a servant to others. I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit.


          • #6
            Thanks for the link Rig D! and thanks for the encouragement Wendy.

            So the good news is I am enjoying eating cleanly and i am finding creative ways to modify meals we would eat with carbs into ones that are completely primal. This weekend I am sorting out my garage so I can set up my gym in there so the exorcise will start in earnest next week.

            The other piece of good news is my wife has decided to join me more thoroughly than before. Tonight I wont be eating with her so she will undoubtedly not eat primal but when i am there she will be as primal as I am. My hope is that when she sees the benefits she will be more of a convert

            I have taken some pictures of myself to be able to compare with when I want to look back at progress. To be honest I was unsure about posting them up here as its amazing how embarrassed I am at how far I have slipped from my more athletic days. However posting them up will give me the motivation to persevere, so here they are.

            April 20th 2016

            Last edited by toonarmy1987; 04-21-2016, 04:37 AM.


            • #7
              Good for you with the wife climbing on board. That is a real plus.
              Your initial photos are grounds for optimism -- you don't look that bad to my eye for starting off. Hope you lose the pudge and maintain the neck and shoulders.
              The Buck stops here. I am responsible for my past and my future. So for today: I choose to be happy. I will seek wisdom. I will be a servant to others. I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit.


              • #8
                Loose the pudge! now you sound like my wife


                • #9
                  My apologies in advance for this one :
                  Me: "...Hope you lose the pudge... "
                  You: "Loose the pudge! now you sound like my wife"
                  No, I hope it goes away, nothing worse than flabby, loose pudge bouncing around on your bod, it is an ugly thought picture indeed.
                  "Loose or loosing" weight is one of my pet peeves here on MDA, way too many people use it, and I understand it was no doubt a typo. Again, sorry about that.
                  The Buck stops here. I am responsible for my past and my future. So for today: I choose to be happy. I will seek wisdom. I will be a servant to others. I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit.


                  • #10
                    I'm only kidding. I recognize that I am not at my healthiest hence the reason why I am changing my lifestyle.

                    It is often a pet peeve of mine when people talk about weight loss when what they actually desire is a "better" looking figure. I have a friend who is shorter than me but weighs a little more than me. The difference is he is built like a tank and eats a cleaner diet. And dont even get me started on BMI!!

                    Talking about health being a motivating factor, today I have woken up with IBS that has gotten steadily worse throughout the day. If I could eradicate this single ailment from my life then this would be a massive step forward.


                    • #11
                      So an update today. Woke up today feeling very good. No bloating and no signs of IBS.

                      I also have lost some weight around my waist. Half a belt size thus far and I suspect this is actually due to less bloating but it is all good progress.

                      This week I am seriously considering getting the primal blueprint cookbook. Has anybody got this and what is it like?